Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bingmass: Because Nobody is More Associated with Christmas then Mr. Bing Crosby, Except Maybe Jesus.


I've decided to do my reviews for Going My Way and The Bells of Saint Mary's together, because the films were made a year apart, directed by Leo McCarry, and stared Bing Crosby as the same character, easy going priest Father 'Chuck' O'Mally. In the first film Father O'Mally is sent in by the Bishope to help a troubled New York Parish, in the second the Bishope (who we never do see) sends O'Malley to a likewise troubled Catholic School. Both films feature crusty but good heart old men (Barry Fitzgerald and Henry Travers respectivly) whom the Father must win over. Both films also introduced hit songs, first 'Swinging On A Star' and secondly 'The Bells of Saint Mary's'. If the two films sound a lot alike, I should point out that they are not clones of each other, but stand up well on there own. Mostley they are just very likable movies, and the studio could probably have gone on making this series almost indefinatly (I'd have like to see Crosby return to the role as an older man, say some time in the 1960's). Ingrid Bergman became so associated with her kind hearted Nun role in St. Mary's, that it took a very public affiar with Italin director Roberto Rossellini to dispell it.

A Bing Crosby Christmas was a 1979 televison special, that combined clips of Bing Crosby's annual Christmas broadcasts which aired from 1962 to 1977, the last telecast a few months after his death. The clips feature then name, now dated, guest stars such as Jackie Gleason and Twiggy, as well Crosby's second family, with whom he also hawked orange juice. Bonus features on the DVD include an old Max Sennet produced Bing Crosby short from the 30's, and a circa 1957 promotional broadcast for the Edsel.

Holiday Inn: Romantic comedy about performing teams and a Connecticut hostelary. Bing Crosby introduces 'White Christmas', and Fred Astair performs a drunken dance. Light on the plot, heavy on the production numbers and Irving Berlin balleds. Blackface sequence and mammy character very un-politicaly correct. Buhl Idaho native Marjorie Reynolds plays the female corner of the love triangel.


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